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Next move is still down for Antipodean central banks

Although the RBA refused to rule out additional interest rate increases at its meeting this week, we suspect a cooling economy will obviate the need for further policy tightening. That said, in response to the Bank's hawkish messaging, we have pushed back our forecast for the first rate cut from May to August. Elsewhere, some commentators have speculated that the lingering resilience in New Zealand's labour market could prompt the RBNZ to resume its tightening cycle. But with leading indicators pointing to a substantial rise in labour market slack in the months ahead, we doubt the RBNZ will jump the gun on further rate hikes.

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